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Faculty Boards procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 7 September 2021.

(2) This Procedure is pursuant to the Vice-Chancellor Regulations regulation 6.3.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Procedure sets out steps for the establishment and maintenance of Faculty Boards. It balances the need for a consistent approach across the University with flexibility for Faculties to meet their specific needs. It is underpinned by the University’s values of excellence, inclusion and ethical.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to the Faculties of the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) The Principal Officer of each Faculty will ensure the establishment and maintenance of a Faculty Board as required by the Vice-Chancellor Regulations regulation 6.3 and this Procedure.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(6) Faculty Boards are established to:

  1. maintain the highest standards in teaching, learning and research within the Faculty or an Institute associated with the Faculty
  2. manage the assessment and academic progress of students within the Faculty or an Institute associated with the Faculty
  3. advise the Academic Board of matters relating to the teaching, learning and research programs offered through the Faculty or an Institute associated with the Faculty
  4. report through the Principal Officer of the Faculty to the Academic Board on any matters requested by the Academic Board
  5. approve the conferral of awards in respect of students enrolled in the Faculty or an Institute associated with the Faculty
  6. report through the Principal Officer of the Faculty to the Vice-Chancellor upon any matter requested by the Vice-Chancellor
  7. contribute to the University's continuous quality improvement processes.

Faculty Board Composition

(7) A Faculty Board has three categories of membership: official members, elected members and co-opted members. Clauses 8 to 13 below set out parameters for each membership category which Faculty Boards are committed to applying in accordance with the following principles:

  1. skills, expertise and accountability to fulfil the functions set out at clause 6, especially expertise from academic staff and the Professoriate to advise on the highest standards in teaching and research
  2. representation from all Schools of the Faculty
  3. representation from different levels of staff and students
  4. a greater number of elected than official members
  5. diversity of membership including providing opportunities for indigenous and student participation in academic governance
  6. balancing the benefits of continuity with turnover in membership to provide fresh perspectives.

Official members

(8) Official members are members on account of their position and are:

  1. the Principal Officer of the Faculty, who will be Chair or will nominate another official member to be Chair
  2. senior officers of the Faculty, as required by the Faculty Board which may include Deans, Deputy Deans, Associate Deans, Faculty General Managers
  3. the Principal Officer of all Schools of the Faculty
  4. the Principal Officer or their nominee of other units such as Institutes and Departments, as required by the Faculty Board
  5. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research or their nominees
  6. the Director, National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation Institute (NIKERI) or nominee.

Elected members

(9) Elected members of a Faculty Board are elected by the relevant cohort of staff or students of the Faculty in accordance with the Elections policy and are:

  1. between two and four academic staff elected by and from each School of the Faculty, at least one of whom must be a Professor
  2. one professional staff member, elected by and from the professional staff of the Faculty
  3. students of the Faculty, as follows:
    1. one higher degree by research student, elected by and from the higher degree by research students enrolled in the Faculty
    2. one postgraduate coursework student, elected by and from the postgraduate coursework students enrolled in the Faculty
    3. one undergraduate student, elected by and from the undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty.

(10) A Faculty Board may, by resolution, increase the number of elected positions on the Board by either:

  1. increasing the number of elected members under any category at clause 9.
  2. establishing additional categories of elected members as determined by the Faculty Board.

(11) A Faculty Board may revoke a resolution under clause 10 but any member affected by such a resolution will be entitled to complete the term for which they were elected.

(12) Terms of office for elected members will be three years for staff and two years for students. Elected members may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms unless otherwise approved by the Chair.

Co-opted members

(13) A Faculty Board may by resolution co-opt members to improve gender balance or diversity, fill vacant elected positions or to provide additional expertise relevant to the needs of the Faculty. Co-opted members may or may not hold positions or be enrolled in the Faculty. The Faculty Board will determine each co-opted member’s term of office at the time of co-option, not exceeding three years for a staff member and two years for a student. Co-opted members may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms unless otherwise approved by the Chair.

Obligations of members

(14) When acting in their capacity as a Faculty Board member, Faculty Board members must:

  1. act in good faith, honestly and for proper purposes consistent with the objects and interests of the University
  2. exercise reasonable skill, appropriate care and diligence, and
  3. take reasonable steps to avoid conflicts of interest and must declare any potential conflict of interest to the Chair and at the Faculty Board meeting prior to the item being discussed.

Attendees with rights of audience and debate

(15) Professors appointed to a Faculty, if not members of the Faculty Board of that Faculty, have the right of audience and debate at all meetings of that Faculty Board.

(16) A Faculty Board may invite a member of the University who is not a member of the Faculty Board to attend Faculty Board meetings with rights of audience and debate. Such an invitation may be a standing invitation and may be extended to the invitee’s nominee.

(17) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Innovation has a standing invitation to each Faculty Board.

(18) A Faculty Board may invite individuals external to the University to attend a meeting or a series of meetings of the Faculty Board, for example where industry experience is desirable.

(19) A Faculty Board may approve a request from a member or members of the University who are not members of Faculty Board to attend meetings of Faculty Board with rights of audience and debate.

Meetings

(20) A Faculty Board will meet at least six times a year.

(21) The Chair of the Faculty Board may call a special meeting to discuss a specific issue or resolution and must call a special meeting at the written request of:

  1. the Vice-Chancellor; or
  2. any six or more members of the Faculty Board.

(22) Where a special meeting is called the notice of the meeting must:

  1. set out the issue or resolution to be discussed; and
  2. provide as much notice as is reasonable in the circumstances.

(23) A Faculty Board quorum is one third of the members.

(24) Subject to the Deakin University Act 2009, the University Statute and Regulations and this Procedure a Faculty Board may regulate its own proceedings. A Faculty Board may use the Standing orders for the Academic Board and its committees as a guide to regulating proceedings.

Voting

(25) Voting will be decided by a show of hands unless a ballot is directed by the Chair, Faculty Board or is demanded by at least ten members of Faculty Board. Where a ballot is taken, it will be conducted in a manner determined by the Chair, provided that confidentiality is ensured.

(26) Non-members, observers and visitors may not vote.

Faculty Board Committees

(27) A Faculty Board will appoint such committees as it considers appropriate or are required by the University Statute and Regulations and policies and procedures together with appropriate terms of reference. The Faculty Board will constitute the committees and appoint a Chair of each committee. Committee Chairs should generally be appointed from the existing members of the Faculty Board but in certain circumstances (eg specific expertise is required) the Chair may be appointed from outside the existing membership and appointed to the Faculty Board as a co-opted member.

(28) A Faculty Board may nominate members to represent the Faculty on University committees or other bodies.

Delegation

(29) In addition to the powers and functions set out in the University Statute and Regulations and this Procedure, a Faculty Board may by resolution delegate to:

  1. any committee of Faculty Board;
  2. any member of Faculty Board; or
  3. any officer of the University,
any of its powers and functions, except this power of delegation.

Annual Review to Academic Board

(30) A Faculty Board will annually review and report to Academic Board on how it meets its academic governance responsibilities. That report will include information on:

  1. composition: including official, elected and co-opted members and attendees with rights of audience
  2. mode of operating: including number of meetings, meeting format and attendance rate
  3. fulfilment of responsibilities: including whether the Faculty Board met its responsibilities and the process for determining whether responsibilities were met
  4. committee structure and delegations: including how delegations were exercised
  5. strengthening Faculty Board governance and processes: including identified actions and progress towards completing previously identified actions.

(31) The Academic Board will consider all Faculty Boards’ Annual Reviews together, with a view to aligning academic governance across the University.

Transitional provisions

(32) All elected and co-opted members of a Faculty Board serving a term when this Procedure comes into effect will be eligible to complete that term provided that they continue to be employed or enrolled in the category in which they were elected. This prevails despite changes to composition arising from this Procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(33) There are no definitions arising under this Procedure.